GMRS Radio


SSTJ

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Don't google "Wouxan KG-1000" then 😉

This. And even if you can overcome this relatively small barrier yourself, the majority of people waiting to talk to you on are ham people with ham hobbies, not Jeep guys. So you are back to the question of do you want to do this to get into radios, or do you want to be able to communicate with people on the trail (plus a little radio nerding if you want to boot).

GMRS has much better clarity, better range on simplex (atmospheric skips aside), and the ability to utilize repeaters, so it trumps CB easily. And the bar to play is much lower than ham which means easier plus more novice non-radio type people to have the ability to talk to. Sure, ham is "better," but to what end? What do you actually plan to do with your new found comms?

I get it. I’m just bummed that my two new worlds (Ham and Jeep) are requiring me to duplicate time, energy, money, and equipment for no actual benefit. But again, that’s my problem. My original question of “why GMRS when we already have Ham?” has been answered, and although I don’t like the answer, it’ll be much easier to get a GMRS setup than to convince all other Jeepers to go to Ham.
 
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sycboi

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My reasoning for going GMRS was that I only use comms for multi-vehicle road trips and trial riding. Where cell service is hit or miss so cell phone calls and texts cannot be relied upon...
My GMRS equipment was cheap enough and easy enough to get myself setup. I have a Midland MXT275 hard wired into my Jeep. I have 3 handhelds that the other Jeeps in our convoy use so we can all communicate, coordinate or spot when needed...
For my needs it hits all the marks. Price. Clarity. Ease of use. Definitely works for us...
 

steelhd

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And even if you can overcome this relatively small barrier yourself, the majority of people waiting to talk to you on are ham people with ham hobbies, not Jeep guys. So you are back to the question of do you want to do this to get into radios, or do you want to be able to communicate with people on the trail (plus a little radio nerding if you want to boot).
@SST ^ Exactly this. Its not "down to the "difficulty’ of the test and the ‘difficulty’ of programming one’s own channels". That stuff is trivial. Its more about how the frequencies are regulated, how they are used, the people who are enthusiastic about using then, and the people who take it upon themselves to be the frequency police. Offroaders want to push a button and talk to their buddies. No bullshit callsigns, no protocol, no radio mall cops, and too often they just want to jabber like idiots (which BTW I dislike). Anyone interested in ham encounters websites like this ...

Amateur Radio is Not for Talking

And this...

Ham Radio Etiquette

That's all fine and dandy and maybe the frequencies shouldn't be filled up with a jabbering mob of undisciplined idiots (although I think the potential importance and sanctity of some of that is overstated by both the regulators and the enthusiasts). But not one bit of it is welcoming to people who simply want to stay together on the trail, trade stupid barbs, and figure out who is buying drinks after they finally get Cletus' Toyota off the trail.
 
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steelhd

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This. And even if you can overcome this relatively small barrier yourself, the majority of people waiting to talk to you on are ham people with ham hobbies, not Jeep guys.
Yep, three main flavors other than SAR etc who use the frequencies professionally ... radio nerds into the radio hobby, preppers who think they need it for the coming zombie invasion, and those who stand by to be the guy who saves the day when the next disaster thing happens.
 

Zorba

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@SST ^ Exactly this. Its not "down to the "difficulty’ of the test and the ‘difficulty’ of programming one’s own channels". That stuff is trivial. Its more about how the frequencies are regulated, how they are used, the people who are enthusiastic about using then, and the people who take it upon themselves to be the frequency police. Offroaders want to push a button and talk to their buddies. No bullshit callsigns, no protocol, no radio mall cops, and too often they just want to jabber like idiots (which BTW I dislike). Anyone interested in ham encounters websites like this ...

Amateur Radio is Not for Talking

And this...

Ham Radio Etiquette

That's all fine and dandy and maybe the frequencies shouldn't be filled up with a jabbering mob of undisciplined idiots (although I think the potential importance and sanctity of some of that is overstated by both the regulators and the enthusiasts). But not one bit of it is welcoming to people who simply want to stay together on the trail, trade stupid barbs, and figure out who is buying drinks after they finally get Cletus' Toyota off the trail.
There's a lot to be said for this. OTOH, CB is full of over amplified idiots when you can hear anybody at all.
 
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steelhd

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There's a lot to be said for this. OTOH, CB is full of over amplified idiots when you can hear anybody at all.
Agreed. I absolutely hate CB but getting the old timers in our Jeep club and all the others we wheel with on to a better solution is an uphill struggle. I'll be using an unloved unwanted CB for the foreseeable future.
 
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Deputy Dodge

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The antenna of choice if you do have a ham radio license is the Comet CA-2x4SRNMO because it covers the ham radio bands, the VHF race frequencies, and the FRS/GMRS bands all in one antenna. I've been running this antenna for years at KOH, but just started using it for GMRS.
That antenna is 40" tall. How sturdy is it when it gets smacked by a tree?
 

Zorba

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Agreed. I absolutely hate CB but getting the old timers in our Jeep club and all the others we wheel with on to a better solution is an uphill struggle. I'll be using an unloved unwanted CB for the foreseeable future.
I grew up with CB, back in the days when it was "Ham Lite", with call signs and established operating procedures (KPA-3937) using vacuum tube radios. Then went through the whole CB craze in the 70s and a bit in the 80s, with the loss of licensing, the onset of "handles", and it became a bit like the wild west - but still pretty usable. I loved talking to the truckers on 19 when on a road trip. Now its semi-locals running 100+ watts who can't hear you if you try to talk to them, skip runners running Goddess knows how many watts, the completely STUPID echo circuits, and rampant roger beeps. I don't mind a subtle roger beep (or EOT tone), but stupid whistles, guitar riffs, and other nonsense just adds to the misery. Never mind my favorite that I've quoted here a few times: "AUUDDIIIIIOOOOOOO!!!!!!" whatever the Hell that's supposed to mean. Aside from that, the band seems pretty empty and I miss it. I understand its still fairly active in various locations, but not here.

As far as using it by pre-arrangement, find a channel nobody's on, and go for it. It would be easy enough around here, you have about 36 to choose from.
 

steelhd

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Another reason I'll probably need to keep a CB mounted in the Jeep and a handheld in the truck is to monitor downhill logging truck traffic in the mountains. When you see a sign that says to monitor a certain channel they mean it. Those trucks can't stop quickly and there isn't room for two unless you get very, very lucky.

I wonder if they are moving toward GMRS too?
 
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Dino - KX6D

Dino - KX6D

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I guess my question remains, which is just "why?". What made you go to GMRS after holding back, and why do you think everyone is so attracted to it? You made a great outline of the benefits over CB in your original post, but those all seem to be true (if not more true, e.g. repeaters) for Ham radio, which has been around forever. It seems as if everyone is finally discovering the benefits of Ham radio, and is re-creating it with new equipment and new licenses, which is all a little overpriced anyway. So please tell me what I'm missing!
I covered it all in my original post so go back and read it again.

GMRS has been around for DECADES! Its only become more popular with the advent of FRS and those crappy bubble pack radios. Now with Midland stepping up with their own version of cheap crappy Chinese radios, its getting even more popular.

Some people are not radio enthusiasts. All they want to do is communicate. They don't care to know the "HOW" behind radio. They just want to push a button to talk and release it to listen.

For trail riding, UHF works just fine. The fidelity is better than CB, its easy to install, the antennas are small, and it keeps bootleggers off ham radio. Everyone wins!

Who knows, maybe it will inspire future ham radio operators.
 

suicideking

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Excellent!

I I like to add that they GMRS license fee was dropped to $30, if no recall wrong is already active. Also, the license covers you and the immediate family. Each radio should Identify using their call sign - 1 or 2 or....

WRJE690

Was that a limited time? Looks like it's currently $70 through the FCC website.
 

sycboi

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Was that a limited time? Looks like it's currently $70 through the FCC website.
It was dropped to $35 for GMRS Radio. It should be in effect before the middle of Summer. I just got my license a few days ago and paid the $70 fee. I didn’t want to wait to be legal since I just got my MXT275 hard wired into my TJ...
 

SkylinesSuck

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They have been talking about the fee dropping for a while, but nobody knows when. The April date mentioned has obviously come and gone. General consensus is that was just the earliest date by law they were allowed to start the ball rolling. Trust me, as a guberment worker, they aren't likely going to get to it anytime soon. It took them 7 months just to process my last raise correctly lol.
 
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suicideking

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It was dropped to $35 for GMRS Radio. It should be in effect before the middle of Summer. I just got my license a few days ago and paid the $70 fee. I didn’t want to wait to be legal since I just got my MXT275 hard wired into my TJ...
They have been talking about the fee dropping for a while, but nobody knows when. The April date mentioned has obviously come and gone. General consensus is that was just the earliest date by law they were allowed to start the ball rolling. Trust me, as a guberment worker, they aren't likely going to get to it anytime soon. It took them 7 months just to process my last raise correctly lol.

Ok, cool. I'll have to check back in a month or so. I'll definitely buy it at $35.
 

suicideking

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If you have a good quality ham radio tweaked (good antenna too) so it can do GMRS frequencies, would you get better performance using an actual GMRS radio?

Um, asking for a friend....
 
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SSTJ

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What additional options do you get with a GMRS radio?

I think he meant you'd have more options with a hacked Ham radio. GMRS wouldn't give you any options other than the pre-set channels themselves. The fact that it is an approved GMRS radio would mean that it's designed to do nothing else.